Saturday, April 5, 2014

E for Esha

Image: Google Images
Name of the Flower:
Egaltine Roses

Symbolic Meaning:
Purity

Name of the Girl
Esha

Her Association with the Flower
Both are pure and have a hidden beauty. .

"Come on, it’s already 5 pm. You've to be ready. They will come any moment!" Mrs. Pandey shouted at Esha, standing stoically near the window, looking out at the vast expanse of the garden sprawled in front of her. The Egaltine  roses carefully tended upon by their gardener was a delight to gaze at. But today, it was not the beauty that enthralled her as her vision unfocused by unshed tears.

“I don’t want to do this, Ma,” she said softly.

“Don’t start again.” Mrs. Pandey almost screamed. Decked up in a heavy Kanchivaram saree and gold jewelry, she was an impressive looking woman. But her heavily kohled eyes couldn’t hide her anxiety as it gauged her daughter. Clearly dissatisfied with the simple, cotton salwar Kameez she wore, she went to her cupboard and flung it open. “Look here, how many beautiful clothes you have and what do you choose – an old one.” She glared at her daughter, who clearly was not interested in the finery cramped up in the cupboard. Irritated with Esha’s behavior, Mrs. Pande took out a silk sari and some matching accessories and laid it on the bed. “I’m giving you thirty minutes to dress up and come down, or else your Baba will have a word with you.”

The clock ticked in the silence as Esha waited for her mom to leave the room. Her shoulders drooped at the unavoidable circumstances and its inevitable results. Like a somnambulist, she picked up her sari and draped it. The woman inside her did not find any pleasure at the beauty of the ornaments her parents had so painstakingly chosen for her.

Just then, her cell rang. She knew it would be Rewa. Who else would have the guts to fight against her parents than her sweet little cousin?

“Hi Rewa. Are you coming for the circus or not?”

“Yes, Esha Di.” Rewa chirped, but Esha could understand the hidden anxiety behind her voice.

“Come fast. You know you’re my strength. “

“I know Di,” Rewa’s voice almost lost its cool. “But Dad’s taken the car and he will be back anytime now. I’m just waiting for him. Or I will take a cab. Hold on till then, will you?”

“I hope so,” Esha sighed and kept her cell down. She stared at her image for the last time dispassionately and after tucking a  single rose behind her left ear, she felt confident enough to face the world.

Slowly, she got down the winding staircase. During these moments, they always felt so endless – the never ending stairs to hell, Rewa would often joke. With renewed confidence as the image of her spunky cousin conjured up in her inward eye, she went down, her slim figure swaying like a mermaid.

Her mother was the first person to see her. “Oh , here is Esha,” She twitted nervously to  a group of people standing there. Esha slowly raised her eyes to see a sea of strangers sitting with her parents and sister, Elena.  Laughter died, few inevitable gasps escaped. Esha lifted her head defiantly to look straight into the eyes of the boy, who had come to ‘see’ her, her face impassive when she saw nothing but disgust in his eyes.

When Rewa reached the Pandey household, the Boy’s family had already left. Mrs.Pandey was as usual in tears after these ‘sessions’. Seeing Rewa, her cries rose an octave. “See Rewa, They again rejected my Esha. No one sees the inner beauty you talk about so much. She is dark and ugly. What will happen to my daughter?”

That night Rewa Diary entry...

21st June, 2007

Dear Diary,

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. But why do our eyes see only the physical beauty of a person? Why do girls have to be ‘seen’ and ‘approved’ before marriage? Especially when it is the girls who have to ‘buy’ the boy? When will our culture accept us for what we are  - not based on the color of our skin, figure? Not how we can sing and dance. Now how much our parents can give.

Rewa kissed the drooping Egaltine rose before pressing it between the pages of her diary.




 This post is for The A-Z Challenge . A special thank you to  Arlee Bird for bringing this to us. :)

Check the Letter A for Anamika story here ....
Check the Letter B for Bela story here ....
Check the Letter C for Chandni story here ....
Check the Letter D for Deepa story here ....





12 comments:

  1. I liked the way you express here, enjoyed reading it !

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  2. I love your stories...:) bringing out each and every social prejudice to the fore.

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  3. Another of our meaningless rituals brought to the forefront by you!

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  4. Brilliant! I love the flower references and their symbolic meanings in every story.

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  5. There is such a nice message attached to your stories Rubina, loved it!

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  6. Marriage is truly overrated, especially for women. Who needs husbands? Don't be upset Esha, no guy is worth it. Loved your story Rubina :)

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  7. Sad that they rejected her. But then again, that family didn't deserve one with hidden beauty. Excellent story!

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  8. Beautifully written on the hypocrisy of our society. I find the whole business of seeing a girl before marriage and all a big tamasha. Perfectly captured emotions.

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  9. I visited your blog today through A-Z. I read A to E today. I love the way you bring out issues through your beautifully written stories. I'll be visiting everyday. I'll comment only if I have something meaningful to add.

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  10. I missed an active Rewa here. How could she not be there when Esha needed her so much? I would have loved to read what Rewa would have done had she been there.

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